Tatshenshini-Alsek Rivers: Wet and Wild!

Herein is my version NOW FINISHED!! (among many) of the latest adventure of SNAFU river expeditions. Sam Green and I (Terry Wright) travelled along with a group organized by Mike Holstrom of Santa Cruz on a 12-day river trip through prime Alaskan wilderness in early July. Mike did all the organization and he and his wife, Donna, did all the food planning, and a huge amount of work during the trip. This was a great change and relief for me, after doing the same for the Grand Canyon trip in 1995, and I relished the opportunity to kick back and let the good times roll. Sam and I rented a big-tube avon pro with oar rig from Stan Boor, Alaskan River Outfitters, in Haines. Stan also rented us a kitchen setup, including a 20x20 tarp, which was the saving grace when the rains came down.

As with all extended wilderness group experiences, there were many personalities, 13 individuals with very strong, unique characters. No whiners surfaced, a very good thing after several days of rain and mosquitos which would bring out the whiner in anyone so inclined. I have written the story from my viewpoint, and apologize to anyone who did not see it my way. I have included some insights into large-scale expeditioning in alaska and the rewards that accrue from what some might view as unnecessary suffering.

My special personal thanks goes to Mike and Donna, without whom the trip never would have happened, much less smoothly. And the 10 others that shared the trip with us made it an exceptional experience in all aspects.

The theme, if any, is that the state, the country, the geologic process, the wildlife, and the experience is huge, vast, monsterous, very basic, fundamental and just plain bully-big. I have divided the story up into chapters with a few images to give you an idea of what it was like. Enjoy!

Text in progress 8/1/97

1. Getting there: Forestville to Seattle to Juneau to Haines
2. Putin-Paddling the Blanchard and Tat, to Silver Creek
3. Silver Creek to layover at Sediments creek to Alkie creek in the rain
4. Alkie creek to the confluence of the Alsek and Tatshenshini, more rain and glaciers (new 12/12/97)
5. Confluence to Takeout at Dry bay including 2 layover days at Walker Glacier and Alsek Lake and lots of rain and Snafus (New 5/5/98)

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